Monday, July 12, 2004

Planning for Postponing elections

There is no doubt that contingency plans should be in place in the event of serious disruptions to the stability and integrity of an election. However, the specific threat from "terrorists" is a deliberate ruse by Rethugs to maintain the fear level in the nation. As Kossack Dump Terry McAuliffe points out, there are numerous events which are far more likely to occur, affecting an election.
What bothers me is the focus on terrorists; it smells like yet another Administration scare tactic. For what it's worth, I can think of a number of events that could seriously disrupt an election, at least in parts of the country: a serious earthquake or hurricane, a power blackout like the one last August, an outbreak of SARS or the flu. All of these would be more disruptive to the election than, say, the Madrid train bombing, tragic as it was.

Rethugs believe that a fearful citizenry will surely back an incumbent as a means of survival. Of course, come November, they'll realize they were wrong when Kerry-Edwards steamrolls a scandel-clouded Bush-Cheney campaign.

Over at Daily Kos, fellow Kossack bellatrys offers a segment of narration from a film not widely known, but which should be seen by all in lieu of our current situation. This snippet from The Handmaiden's Tale certainly echoes loudly with respect to both the 2000 election and the imminent one this year.
"You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. Not for groceries though, that came later. It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.
I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.

It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.

Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.

I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on...

Things continued in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons, they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to carry on as usual..."
--The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood, 1985

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